Correy Moss

Correy Moss

Published: 12 Sep 2023


Sutherland Falls is a breathtaking natural wonder located in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand. As one of the tallest waterfalls in the world, it captivates visitors with its impressive height and stunning beauty. Standing at an awe-inspiring 1,900 feet (580 meters), this majestic waterfall cascades down the rocky cliffs, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that commands attention.

But there is more to Sutherland Falls than meets the eye. From its fascinating geological formation to its connection to local M?ori legends, this iconic landmark holds a plethora of captivating facts that make it a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. In this article, we will delve into 18 intriguing facts about Sutherland Falls that will deepen your appreciation for its unique natural wonders and rich history.

Table of Contents

Facts 1: A Majestic Waterfall in New Zealand

Sutherland Falls, nestled in the Fiordland National Park of New Zealand, is a breathtaking natural wonder that attracts visitors from around the world. With its staggering height and picturesque surroundings, it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

Facts 2: A Vertical Drop of 1,904 feet

One of the most remarkable features of Sutherland Falls is its incredible height. With a vertical drop of 1,904 feet (580 meters), it is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. To put it into perspective, Sutherland Falls is almost four times the height of the Statue of Liberty!

Facts 3: Discovered by Donald Sutherland

Sutherland Falls was first discovered by a Scottish explorer named Donald Sutherland in He stumbled upon the waterfall while exploring the rugged terrain of the Fiordland region and was awe-struck by its majestic beauty.

Facts 4: Named after Quintin Hogg

The falls were named after Quintin Hogg, a philanthropist and patron of the explorer Donald Sutherland. Hogg was so impressed by Sutherland’s tales of the waterfall that he suggested naming it after him as a tribute.

Facts 5: Fed by Lake Quill

The source of water for Sutherland Falls is the stunning Lake Quill, a pristine alpine lake located at an elevation of 3,000 feet above sea level. The lake feeds into the falls, creating a magnificent cascade of water that overflows into the valley below.

Facts 6: Three Cascades

Sutherland Falls is comprised of three distinct cascades: the upper, middle, and lower falls. Each cascade adds to the grandeur of the waterfall, creating a multi-tiered spectacle that captivates onlookers.

Facts 7: Sutherland Falls is a Glacial Waterfall

The water that flows down Sutherland Falls originates from meltwater of nearby glaciers. As the glacial ice melts, it forms streams that converge and eventually plunge over the edge of the falls, resulting in a powerful and visually striking waterfall.

Facts 8: Magnificent Rainbows

Visitors to Sutherland Falls are often treated to the sight of vibrant rainbows arching across the waterfall. The combination of the cascading water and the sunlight creates a mesmerizing display of colors that adds to the allure of this natural wonder.

Facts 9: Accessible via Hiking Trails

To reach Sutherland Falls, adventure enthusiasts can embark on a hiking journey through the stunning Milford Track. The track is considered one of the finest hiking trails in the world and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Facts 10: A Sanctuary for Native Birds

The lush vegetation surrounding Sutherland Falls provides a natural habitat for a variety of native bird species, including the iconic kiwi. Birdwatchers have the opportunity to spot these unique creatures and listen to their melodic calls as they explore the area.

Facts 11: Featured in “The Lord of the Rings”

Sutherland Falls gained international fame when it was featured in the epic fantasy film trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings.” The falls appeared in several scenes, showcasing its majestic beauty to millions of viewers around the world.

Facts 12: A Photographic Paradise

For photography enthusiasts, Sutherland Falls offers endless opportunities to capture stunning images. From long exposure shots of the cascading water to panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, this waterfall presents a photographer’s dream come true.

Facts 13: A Healing Atmosphere

Many visitors to Sutherland Falls describe a sense of tranquility and rejuvenation when in its presence. The combination of the soothing sound of cascading water and the pristine natural surroundings creates an atmosphere of serenity and peace.

Facts 14: Conservation Efforts

Due to its ecological significance, Sutherland Falls and its surrounding area are protected under the Fiordland National Park’s conservation efforts. This ensures the preservation of its natural beauty for generations to come.

Facts 15: A Four-Season Destination

Whether it’s the vibrant colors of autumn, the snowy-capped peaks of winter, the blossoming flowers of spring, or the lush greenery of summer, Sutherland Falls offers a captivating experience throughout the year.

Facts 16: Inspiring Adventure and Exploration

Exploring the majestic Sutherland Falls and its surrounding wilderness is a dream come true for adventure seekers. From hiking and camping to helicopter tours and boat excursions, there are endless ways to embrace the spirit of discovery in this spectacular natural wonderland.

Facts 17: A Symbol of New Zealand’s Beauty

Sutherland Falls has become an iconic symbol of New Zealand’s natural beauty. Its inclusion in various travel guides and postcards has made it recognizable worldwide and encourages travelers to visit this remarkable landmark.

Facts 18: A Must-Visit Destination

In summary, Sutherland Falls is a must-visit destination for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and anyone seeking a truly unforgettable experience. With its staggering height, scenic beauty, and rich history, this captivating waterfall continues to awe and inspire all who are fortunate enough to witness its grandeur.


In conclusion, Sutherland Falls is truly a mesmerizing natural wonder that captivates visitors from around the world. With its staggering height, breathtaking scenery, and fascinating history, it offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a history enthusiast, a journey to Sutherland Falls is sure to leave you in awe. So, don’t miss the opportunity to witness this majestic waterfall in person and immerse yourself in the beauty of New Zealand’s landscape.


1. How tall is Sutherland Falls?

Sutherland Falls stands at an impressive height of 580 meters (1,904 feet), making it one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.

2. Where is Sutherland Falls located?

Sutherland Falls is located in Fiordland National Park on the South Island of New Zealand. It can be found in the Milford Track, a renowned hiking trail.

3. Can I visit Sutherland Falls all year round?

Yes, you can visit Sutherland Falls throughout the year. However, it is recommended to visit during the summer months (December to February) for better weather conditions and clearer views.

4. How can I reach Sutherland Falls?

To reach Sutherland Falls, you can hike the Milford Track, a multi-day trail that offers stunning views of the waterfall along the way. The track starts at Glade Wharf and ends at Sandfly Point, near Milford Sound.

5. Are there any other attractions near Sutherland Falls?

Yes, there are several other attractions near Sutherland Falls. Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, and the surrounding mountains and lakes provide endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.

6. Is it possible to swim in Sutherland Falls?

No, swimming in Sutherland Falls is not recommended due to its powerful and fast-flowing water. It is advised to admire the falls from a safe viewing point.

7. Are there any accommodations near Sutherland Falls?

There are no accommodations directly near Sutherland Falls. However, there are various lodging options available in nearby towns such as Te Anau and Milford Sound.